Commuters and students heading for PSLE oral exam hit by back-to-back train delays on DTL and NSL

Commuters on the Downtown Line (DTL) and North-South Line (NSL) were disrupted by back-to-back signalling faults on the early morning of August 18, 2017. The entire DTL was down for about 35 minutes, and major delays were experienced on the NSL. 

The PSLE oral examination was to be held from 8am to 1pm today as well. Students affected by the delays were seen queuing up for excuse slips. The Ministry of Education has yet to comment on whether the excuse slips were necessary in the event that such huge delays occur. 

Last evening, the peak-hour train delay caused by a signalling fault near Ang Mo Kio station took about two hours to restore. 

SMRT announced on social media that free regular buses and free bridging bus services were available. 

Photos and comments posted by netizens on the SMRT Facebook page showed the extent of the situation caused by the delay.

Situation at Jurong East MRT. Photo courtesy: Screenshot of FB comment
Situation at Jurong East MRT. Photo courtesy: Screenshot of FB comment

Commuters also raised the concern that such situations could result in "terrorists taking advantage of the situation to inflict maximum, nation-crippling damage."

Last month, going off-script in a prepared speech on Singapore's rail networks, Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan slammed the media for their coverage on the train delays, alleging that they "magnified the problem unfairly."

Kareyst Lin
Kareyst Lin – Senior Correspondent

Kareyst has experience in writing about B2B technology for Computerworld Singapore, MIS Asia and CIO Asia; and on government technology for GCIO Asia. Her pet areas are artificial intelligence, Internet of Things and smart cities - these are fueled by her obsession with sci-fi movies and philosophy of mind. An active Yoga practitioner and cat lover, with a background in Indian philosophy, subaltern and diaspora studies.


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